This is an opinion editorial by Phil Snyder, video director and editor and a contributor for Bitcoin Magazine.
Conventional wisdom among Bitcoiners is that bitcoin will one day assume the throne of worldwide value asset supremacy — whether by force as a juggernaut, by default because of universal fiat failure or somehow in-between is yet to be determined. Regardless of how this happens, what does this revolution mean for Bitcoiners? Because of popular generalizations that “Bitcoin fixes this,” and “Fix the money, fix the world,” many of us expect that after the transition to hyperbitcoinization wars will cease, there will be peace and wealth will vastly increase.
The risk of putting too much stock in any over-pollyannaish outlook is that it doesn’t consider the innate corruption of human beings. The entire race is born self-centered and only through spiritual regeneration can we hope for a change in the status quo. In other words, the only way the world will genuinely improve is when the hearts of the people in the world change. If you presume that great wealth changes peoples’ hearts for the better, well, good luck with that when you lose your life savings on the next shitcoin rugpull.
There is something mysteriously wonderful, powerful and unique going on with Bitcoin. There is a dynamic spiritual side to the movement. So much evil of the world’s current system is stopped in its tracks because of this resilient rules-based protocol. One of the surprising benefits of bitcoin is that anyone who wishes to profit from it must obey the rules and the rules are based on natural law, as enshrined in Austrian Economics, which is justice, compassion and goodness in its highest sense. These are spiritual values and virtues.
As incredible as it may sound to a non-Bitcoiner, the protocol actually enforces spiritual virtues! The way in which this is accomplished is ineffable in its complex multi-dimensional brilliance. Bitcoiners believe in the protocol because it’s a truly righteous system and therefore, affects our lives profoundly and seems to even have transformational effects on people — both outwardly and inwardly. If this spiritual side effect of Bitcoin is real, as in from God, then perhaps there is hope for the long-term future of Earthlings.
As a Christian trying to proactively shun the seductive idolatry so contagious with wealth, I’m wary of and worried for those who “worship” the gift over the giver. I see Bitcoin as sacred, and agree with Jimmy Song and many others in this space that it is a gift from God for which to be wildly thankful. As with anything regarded as sacred, it must be protected at all costs from the profane.
There are many examples of this, but the most celebrated and profound example of protection is the “Blocksize War.” Greedy and unscrupulous types sought to benefit themselves by myopically attempting to hard-fork the protocol. But developers, stepping forward as priests and guardians of the sacred, stood steadfast in the way and — thank God — were victorious. Though some of these were notable OGs, it should be clear by now that they neither understood Bitcoin, nor deserved to have authority over it; they’re not to be trusted. Here we are, fleeing the “trusted third-party,” and some of those we thought were brothers have betrayed us.
It is precisely the trustless feature of Bitcoin that protects us as we cherish and protect it as sacred. Hopefully, those who attacked Bitcoin will one day be reformed, at least to a reasonable quality of low time preference. Many are finding out that Bitcoin requires discipline for success. The practical and profitable practices of deferred gratification that come with HODLing and the discipline of a low time preference are surprisingly transformative, especially because the mind is opened with heretofore unexplored, wise alternatives to a whole host of living hells. Sadly, the spirits behind the living hells often speak our language but aren’t really with us.
It’s like the Nazis in “Indiana Jones And The Raiders Of The Lost Ark” thinking they can open and conduct a holy ritual with the Ark of the Covenant, and look what happened to them! Further, it’s like the Grail Knight in “Indiana Jones And The Last Crusade,” who challenged Jones to “choose wisely.” The behind-the-scenes trivia is that the original script called for the knight to battle Jones over the grail, but it was rewritten that he would stage a challenge of wit, wisdom and virtue. Seems an apt metaphor.
Yes, hyperbitcoinization is the outcome we seek in this revolution, but rare is the successful revolution whose new regime is kinder, gentler and more just than the one it replaces. If Bitcoiners do become a new world economic elite, what will prevent us from being just as unscrupulous as the scoundrels we replace? The short answer: God knows. The longer answer is that we must be intentional about taking on the mantle of serving humanity that Bitcoin enjoins. We can see examples of this in the community already. Without naming names, many are giving up the comforts of home and wealth to travel to developing nations to educate and empower through Bitcoin, while contributing to the development of the local infrastructure. This is the work of love: the ultimate virtue. It is a fruit of the Spirit and the most important of all Bitcoin’s outcomes and Bitcoiners’ efforts.
“Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” — John 15:13
This is a guest post by Phil Snyder. Opinions expressed are entirely their own and do not necessarily reflect those of BTC Inc. or Bitcoin Magazine.